I haven’t really had the opportunity to try much from Jolly Pumpkin. I’ve heard and read mixed reviews concerning various brews that they produce, however I’m of the type to find out for myself and make up my own mind.
With that being said, the brewery website, jollypumpkin.com, had this to say about the Oro de Calabaza.
Brewed in the Franco-Belgian tradition of strong golden ales. Spicy and peppery with a gentle hop bouquet and the beguilling influence of wild yeast.
Let’s give it a try, shall we?
This beer has an ABV of 8.0% and it comes in a 25.4 oz. bottle.
It poured a very cloudy, yellow/orange to gold color. The head was white, smooth, slightly fizzy and soapy. It was of average size, but the retention time seemed decent enough. The lacing looked ok too. Not bad.
The nose began with an excellent hint of that “barnyard funk”. Nice and sour with an acidic undertone. Fruity lemons, pears and green apples. Once the brew was allowed to sit and breathe a nice waft of oak began to develop. A significant amount of Belgian yeast and bready goodness really started to take over the fragrance also. The “funk” and sourness began to relax substantially as the brew warmed. Just a smidge of spice was noticed in the smell though. Overall, the bouquet was complex, nicely balanced and pleasant.
The taste revealed that nice and tart acidity from the pears, lemons and apples for the first few sips. However, it mirrored the aroma in the fact that it subsided considerably as it was allowed to sit and open up. The funky yeast and breads were activated and really came on strong through the middle while the “woodiness” and a slight peppery spice stepped it up a notch at the back end. Thus, creating a much more “round” flavor profile than I had anticipated. Really nice.
The mouthfeel was medium bodied. Very dry, crisp, snappy and refreshing. The carbonation was very good and a small amount of warmth was felt from both the alcohol and the peppery spice. It was quite sharp at first, but smoothed out substantially the closer I got to finishing.
Man, this is one solid beer. It provided a lot of aroma and flavor to ponder between sips and I liked the fact that it continued to change from beginning to end. Even though it does lose quite a bit of intensity after it warms it is still a very enjoyable and complex drink. Definitely one that I would love to have again sometime this Summer. If you are interested in getting into the Biere de Garde style, the Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza may be a good place to start. It’s not so overpowering that it would turn you off of the style, although it still presents enough of the proper characteristics to give you a sturdy idea of what to expect as you move forward in your exploration. Let’s just say that I would have no problem giving this to a friend to try.
Thanks for checking back in on the reviews guys. As always, it’s appreciated. Also, if you ever feel the need to leave a comment, good, bad or otherwise, please do so.
Until next time. Cheers.
Score: 4.05 out of 5